Thought for the month

“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.” Ovid, Roman Poet (43 BC – 17 AD).

Monday, 5 December 2016

Scared of sums?

Are physicists really afraid of mathematics to the extent of avoiding highly mathematical work? A controversial claim by Exeter academics that is attracting much debate. Previous work had indicated that biologists tended to neglect and be deterred by papers with equations. In 649 papers from three major ecology and evolution journals there were 28% fewer citations on average for each additional equation per page. Other researchers question the citation analysis but claims and counterclaims continue as to whether negative relationship between equation density and citations extend across the breadth of the sciences.

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